Coming at a time that the Akwa Ibom State Government says it has no money to finance projects after performing ground breaking, the over N2 billion inter-ministerial largesse given to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chapter and ward executives, elders and supporters in the 31 local government areas have torn the third tier of government in the state apart.
The Sensor authoritatively gathered that while some local government areas have shared the money that was meant for chapter and ward executives with peanuts given to the targeted beneficiaries instead of the inter-ministerial jobs that they were to execute, party elders in some other local government areas have outrightly hijacked the money.
In Mkpat Enin local government area, the immediate past ward secretary in one of the wards who gave his name only as Ufot while reacting to the governor’s largesse expressed shock at the embezzlement of the money at a time that he is battling for survival.
He was not alone in baring his mind as his ward chairman, has also denied ever receiving the money.
The duo chided the government for releasing the money to the unscrupulous elders of the local government area.
In Essien Udim, the N30 million given the former and present ward and chapter executives is still causing acrimony due to the mode of sharing while the actual beneficiaries were given paltry fifteen thousand naira depending on their office. Elders were given between fifty and one hundred thousand naira.
In a particular ward in the area, it was a free for all during the sharing of the money. It was learnt that only those who have guts and muscle to struggle were given betwenN5,00 andN10,000 each.
In several local governments those yet to collect their own share have vowed to fight back by supporting opposition party in the next general election.
In Ukanafun local government area, the N12 million given to them is still a matter of serious contention as it is claimed that elders of the party hijacked the money.
The Sensor gathered that while the political leader and former Commissioner for Lands and Town Planning, pocketed N500, 000, the serving commissioner was given only N2, 000 even as he was said to have not been carried along during the sharing process.
The serving commissioner, it was further learnt outrightly rejected the money and asked that the money be returned to the former commissioner and his ‘elders’.
It was gathered that while the new party ward executives got N2,000 each, former executives that were the main beneficiaries got between N5,000 andN10,000 each. The development has divided party faithful in the area even as the two political leaders are in fierce supremacy battle for the souls of Ukanafun.
In Etim Ekpo, the governor’s largesse is yet to reach them.
A source told our correspondent that the local government is yet to receive their own money the source said the inter-ministerial project that they embarked upon is yet to be completed and until it is completed, the largesse may not be released.
But another source said that the largesse in question was given as “an awoof” for sharing to compensate the former chapter and ward executives. He wondered why the largesse is yet to be shared, thus, fueling the suspicion that it has been hijacked by the party elders.
Meanwhile, criticism has continued to trail the release of the largesse for sharing instead of allowing the former ward and chapter executives to carry out the inter-ministerial project as promised by the governor.
A former ward chairman in one of the local government areas who felt cheated by the arrangement noted that having worked tirelessly for the party’s success during last general elections, he deserved to have been adequately compensated through the inter-ministerial project rather than release cash to party for the self styled elders to hijack.